Man indicted in New Bedford murder, arson

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New charges have been brought against a Providence man nearly a year after a New Bedford man was found dead at the scene of a house fire.

A Bristol County grand jury issued an indictment Friday charging Sayyid Coggins with murder and arson in the death of 29-year-old Justin Downey.

Photo of victim Justin Downey (Courtesy: Katie Hayward)
Photo of victim Justin Downey (Courtesy: Katie Hayward)

On April 15 of last year, New Bedford firefighters found Downey’s body after putting out a fire at his home on Rounds Street.

Detectives identified Coggins as a suspect after a week-long investigation and put out a warrant for his arrest. He was captured the following week in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and charged as an accessory to murder.

The day after the fire, Downey’s girlfriend told Eyewitness News she believed the fire was intentionally set to cover up his killing.

Coggins continues to be held at the Bristol County Court of Corrections and will be arraigned on the new charges at a later date.

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